When a woman is undergoing a mastectomy, getting Botox injections is probably the last thing on her mind. However, her surgeon may think it’s exactly what she needs-not to reduce wrinkles, but to reduce pain during the reconstruction process.
An ASPS study looked at women who had undergone a mastectomy and gotten tissue expanders placed under the pectoral muscle in preparation for breast implants. Although the expanders inflate slowly, the stretching tissue can cause muscle spasms and discomfort on top of the post-op mastectomy pain.
When researchers injected Botox into some of the participants’ pectoral muscles, it resulted in significantly less morphine use during the first day of recovery, a shorter hospital stay, and fewer expander-related visits to their doctors before implant placement.
“As surgeons, our top priorities are the safety and comfort of our patients,” said study co-author Julio Hochberg, MD. “We are always searching for ways to decrease pain for breast reconstruction patients and found that using Botox after surgery significantly decreased the pain and discomfort they experienced.”
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